Citi furthers its leadership in digitalisation and innovation in Vietnam

May 11, 2022 | 10:50
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Vietnam is one of the most dynamic emerging countries in Asia. Economic reforms since 1986 have helped transform it from an underdeveloped nation to a middle-income economy, and foreign direct investment has increasingly flowed into Vietnam’s manufacturing sector. Vietnam is now a leading production centre in Asia for the world, and has great potential and the necessary infrastructure for further development.
Citi furthers its leadership in digitalisation and innovation in Vietnam
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will this week lead a high-level delegation to attend the ASEAN-US Special Summit and pay a visit to the United States and the United Nations. In tandem, the 45th anniversary of bilateral dialogue relations between ASEAN and the US is being celebrated, as more US corporations make a bigger mark in Vietnam after years of growth. Citi is one such group – it is currently making a strategic shift to increase focus on its corporate and institutional clients in Vietnam, using its globality to facilitate cross-border investment flows. This will enable Citi to target resources to businesses that can drive stronger growth.

Over the past two years, the Vietnamese economy has proven resilient. Vietnam was one of only a few countries to post GDP growth in both 2020 and 2021. Last year, Vietnam remained an attractive destination for foreign companies and continued to benefit from the shift in global supply chains. Foreign direct investment in 2021 hit $26.5 billion, comparable with the previous year.

Citi furthers its leadership in digitalisation and innovation in Vietnam
Ramachandran A.S. Citi country officer Vietnam

As one of the first foreign banks to establish a presence in Vietnam since the early 1990s, Citi has had a positive impact on Vietnam’s economic development in recent years.

Citi is serving the biggest foreign-invested client portfolio of Fortune 500 companies and facilitating annual international trade flows exceeding $90 billion in Vietnam. It has played a leading role in helping to raise several billion dollars of external financing for corporates and the government across global financial markets.

“Citi is Vietnam’s leading international bank supporting clients both in-country and across its global network with an increasingly digital value proposition. Our best-in-class solutions have made Citi the bank of choice for top-tier local corporates and financial institutions as well as the largest multinational companies in Vietnam,” said Ramachandran A.S., Citi country officer Vietnam.

“Our clients benefit from Citi’s global proposition, network, and our comprehensive product suite that includes capital markets advisory, trade services and finance, working capital financing, cash management services, and foreign exchange,” he added.

Citi recently was the sole lead arranger and lender to structure a secure 6-year dual tranche amortising loan to Viettel Peru S.A.C., a subsidiary of Viettel Group. This milestone transaction marked the first truly syndicated loan to an offshore subsidiary of a top local corporate client of Citi Vietnam and showed the breadth of Citi’s capabilities – the bank acted as arranger, lender, admin agent, and hedge provider for a tailor-made solution for the client.

Citi Vietnam was also mandated to be Capital Account and FX Bank to facilitate an Asian e-commerce giant’s indirect investment here. The capital funding is for a leading company in the retail industry in Vietnam. This was a strategic foreign investment in a successful Vietnamese group reflecting the high potential for opportunities in e-commerce in the market.

By ensuring complete end-to-end transaction support, Citi Vietnam is well-positioned to assist future investment flows.

Citi has also recently been pioneering environmental, social, and governance priorities in Vietnam. The bank has been financing the import of wind turbines and is also working with a foreign-invested company in the commodity trading segment for green financing to purchase coffee that has been grown in an environmentally-friendly way from Vietnamese agents and farmers.

Citi’s clients in Vietnam include enterprises that are part of the global supply chain, subsidiaries whose parent companies are clients of the bank’s global network, and emerging enterprises in the fast-growing new economy and digital segments.

All these clients are turning to Citi for customised financial solutions that can help them mitigate risk, manage cash flow, obtain financing, and gain access to global investors and capital markets.

“The biggest advantage of Citi is our global network,” explained Ramachandran. “Citi’s unique combination of global reach and local presence provides clients with access to local, regional and global relationship managers who have the expertise to deliver insights, business intelligence, and market information not only in Vietnam but in many of its major export destinations, such as the United States, EU, Japan, China, and ASEAN.”

Citi has introduced to Vietnam several services for institutional clients to speed up cross-border payments. The CitiDirect BE® Document Center digitalises supporting documents and streamlines relevant processes required to facilitate cross-border payments.

This latest digital solution complements Citi’s suite of recently launched digital capabilities in this country, including CitiDirect BE® Digital Onboarding, electronic customs declaration processing, and also e-tax payments.

Over the years, Citi has been expanding its institutional businesses across the full suite of products including corporate and investment banking, capital markets, and transaction banking services. Citi is committed to driving more digital firsts for its clients in Vietnam as the bank furthers its leadership in digitalisation and innovation in the market.

By Duy Nguyen

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